Time seems to zip past me in a blur these days, probably something to do with the fact that I have been frantically working on my quilt for the Festival of Quilts. Happily I put the final stitches in last night and it is even now winging its way to the Shippers who will take it to the NEC. I shall contain my excitement (not) and show it to you after the exhibition,mostly because I can't be bothered to go and fetch my camera and upload the photo I took this morning! Lazy beggar!
When I wasn't working on my quilt I have been to another workshop. This one was tutored by my friend Angela who blogs as Fenland Textiles. We had a really lovely and leisurely day so that while I started out feeling a bit stressed by the end of the day I was tired but relaxed and had some lovely fabric samples to boot!
The day started with Angela introducing the natural products we would be dyeing with and these were madder, weld, cochineal, brazilwood, logwood, cutch, dandelion and birch bark.
Each of the dyestuffs were boiled up and then simmered until the colour looked strong enough (technical term) and then we had to cleverly drain off the liquid, remembering not to let it go down the drain! The dye was then returned to the pan and the fabric and yarn samples simmered further. By the end of the day we each had a group of samples of each colour. Angela was a star for preparing 8 packs of 9 samples of various fabric, lace, yarn etc. That's a mountain of small squares and acres of yarn tied with little snippets of cotton.
Angela had brought some samples of ready dyed fabrics and yarns to give us an idea of where we were heading
Our own samples were hung up to dry over lunch
and we dyed just as much in the afternoon session but I didn't get chance to photograph them before they were packed away to take home.
The results above are, clockwise from top left, cutch, cochineal, brazilwood, weld (bottom right), birchbark, daffodil, logwood and madder (centre). The daffodil came out a very delicate colour and the logwood is a gorgoeus colour. I should point out that all the fabric and yarn had been mordanted by Angela before we started.
I am used to dyeing with Procion dyes which give you a trong colour but I really like these gentle hues and may well investigate dyeing from natural sources further.
Angela has prepared a proper dye book from her own samples and I still have to do that with mine. I do hope to use the dyed fabrics in a project so I keep a permanent reminder of the workshop. I should say that the workshop took place at Unique Cottage Studios near Spalding.
I thought you might like a little news of my mum, not wishing to bore you but I do like to share good news. Mum is doing really well and has had another visit from some very special friends from home.
Doesn't she look happy! Mum coped really well with the visit and enjoyed the conversation, just taking a little time out when she couldn't quite keep up with everything.
As you'd expect when friends get together food played a part. We went out to a local pub for Sunday lunch and mum decided she would share a dessert with her fiend. We tried to tell her that the pud would be too big but she assured us she could eat it ;-)
What do you think? ROFL Mum's eyes nearly popped out of her head! And the laughter went on and on :-) Fortunately there were three willing volunteers (well, sort of willing) to help her work her way through this mountain (which of course is obscene bearing in mind what's happening in Africa).
All in all a wonderful day full of laughter and memories. It is wonderful that people should take time to travel all the way to Lincolnshire to visit Mum.
What was that? "Get off your lazy butt and phtograph your quilt!" Oh, all right then. I don't think there is anything to stop me showing you my entry to FOQ as it's not a juried show and I am definitely not in line for any of the prizes.
Not the best quality photo but you get the general idea. The quilt is a turning nine patch which I then cross cut so it's a disappearing 9 patch, hence the title 'Turning, Disappearing'. It incorporates altered digital images printed on organza and I quilted it with a wavy pattern. I don't mean to gripe but I am disappointed in it because I wanted to be much more adventurous but circumstances prevented that. I am at least relieved that I have met the target and it's now in the post so there won't be a gap on the wall with my name on it. If you're going to Festival of Quilts it's number 330. The fabrics are nearly all my own hand dyes.